Friday, 27 June 2014

Sanheim, Quenneville Go In Round One

  Two Western Manitoba connected players that share a similar story from their NHL Draft years were chosen in the first round of the 2014 NHL Draft on Friday night.

  Neither Wheat Kings' centre John Quenneville or Elkhorn product Travis Sanheim of the WHL's Calgary Hitmen were on most draft lists at the start of the 2013-2014 season, including the initial rankings by the NHL Central Scouting Service.

  However, that changed for both during the course of the regular season and, particularly, in the post-season when they were chosen to play to Canada at the World Under-18 Hockey Championship.

  Sanheim's selection came just past the midway mark of the first round and was a surreal moments, having his name announced at the Wells Fargo Center by the GM hometown Flyers, wBrandon product and former Wheat King Ron Hextall.

  "Sitting up there with my family and being able to share the moment with them, it's an honour," Sanheim told Flyers' TV, "I'm just incredibly proud to be selected by the Flyers."

  Quenneville's moment came 13 picks later, the final pick of the opening round, when he was chosen 30th overall by the New Jersey Devils.

  "I was sweating.  I was thinking that I was going to have a long night, but I was hoping that one last pick would be me," said Quenneville, "Luckily enough, it was."

  "It's very rewarding.  The high of the season we had in Brandon, with how we did as a team and how we did in the playoffs, it was amazing to me," added Quenneville, "This is just the top off to a great season."

    Aaron Ekblad is the first overall pick of the 2014 NHL draft, with the Florida Panthers selecting the defenceman from the OHL's Barrie Colts.

  Edmonton took centre Leon Draisaitl of the Prince Albert Raiders third overall, followed by Calgary selecting Sam Bennett fourth.

  Vancouver used their two first-round picks to select Jake Virtanen sixth and Jared McCann 24th.

  The Maple Leafs, meanwhile, chose Swedish teen William Nylander with the eighth overall pick, the Winnipeg Jets followed by taking Nikolaj Ehlers ninth, and Montreal selected Nikita Scherbak 26th overall.

  Ottawa did not have a first-round pick.

  The NHL Draft continues Saturday with Rounds 2-7.

  Wheat Kings' forward Jayce Hawryluk is expected to be one of the first 30 players off the board, with teammate Richard Nejezchleb also expected to be chosen.

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